Sunday, April 17, 2011

Loving your home

Today, on my day off at home I did one of my favourite things – potter. Pottering is part housework, part moving things around, part prettifying your abode. We live in a small home, and it’s a constant effort to not let stuff take over. I make regular trips to the charity store with drop-offs and work my way around areas as they bother me.

Because our living area is petite, there is not a large difference in the way I can rearrange furniture, but I do it anyway. I swap the sofas over (they go well together but do not match) and shift the side tables around. I turn the rectangular dining table to face longways rather than sideways. The art on the wall is moved around.

All ornaments are taken down, washed in the kitchen and then put back in other areas. Sometimes some are put away and others are taken out. We have very few surfaces for ornaments and rotating them makes you appreciate them more. At the moment I have a white theme going on.

And while I’m doing all this of course I can vacuum every part of the carpet including corners and edges, and polish the tables.

I only do it when the urge takes me, that way it’s fun. It really makes everything look fresh and new, having been cleaned and the furniture and paintings/prints in different places.

When your home looks stale and boring, dusty and uninspiring, it is tempting to go shopping for some light entertainment and buy a rug, candle or doodad. Resist that temptation for when you get home again, your dusty and stale home will still be there and you will have added an extra piece of clutter.

A pottering day (or even pottering-few-hours like I had) is just the tonic. Your home will feel like a très stylish boutique hotel. Sadly the image above is not where I live. It's one of my favourite places to stay - The Langham Hotel.


  1. Dear Fiona - it's good to have you back, and I hope that you now feel on top of things and refreshed and inspired after your break! I live in a small house too, and need to be careful not to fill the space up with too many things. I actually feel the need to clean out stuff, which I do slowly and one thing at the time. It's difficult sometimes because my husband has little hoarder tendency:) He loves to collect stuff! I like the idea of pottering around, thanks for the tip and have a lovely Sunday!

  2. I know what you mean, it is so nice to re-arrange furniture, even a little bit, it feels kind of like getting new furniture a little bit. You can see your space in a whole new way and its kind of fun to come home to it each time. That is why I love making new floral arrangements and switching them out at home and the office, its so nice to see something new.

  3. This is a great idea for a small space. And it's free, even better. Glad to have you back!

  4. So glad that you're back, Fiona. And thank you for the great ideas and reminders. Moving things around really does give things a fresh, new look, doesn't it? And since it's time for spring cleaning (fall for you!) your post could not have been better timing. Thank you.

  5. I also rearrange our home e ery few months or so and it is very refreshing! Nice to see you back! xxoo

  6. It is lovely to have you back posting again! I think the changes you described in you home sound great and can see how talented you are at "pottering". Does Atlas observe with relish or sleep through it all?

  7. Hi Fiona,

    I love a day devoted to home keeping feeds my soul.

    Living in a small space requires constant editing as any amount of clutter makes it appear messy.

    Hope that you enjoyed your time off and glad that you are back!


  8. Nanne, I have to declutter slowly and leave it in a bag/box for a little while in case I want to go back to anything. I get panicky otherwise.

    Jennifer, your eyes get used to the same old thing. It's such a pleasure to spot something new.

    Stephanie, I forgot to mention this most important of points. One is not required to get their wallet out whilst pottering.

    CS, I often find myself more into cleaning and rearranging in the Autumn than Spring. I wonder if it's upside down here?

    Cathi, thank you.

    Juhli, Atlas was a big help. I move him side to side when vacuuming - since he's deaf he doesn't mind it at all. I also had to shift him around when window cleaning (including small nose marks at a certain height on the sliding door). He also tripped over things because they weren't where he remembered. At times when everything was pulled out I didn't know where he was, and I don't think he did either. He's a lovely boy to have around and he seemed to approve of the sofa arrangement last night, taking up a whole cushion to himself.

    Leslie, you are so right, it feeds the soul. I feel totally refreshed today, and it's not like I lay around doing nothing yesterday. I try to do small areas at a time now, and then I don't get potterers regret (you don't want to attack the whole house and then get tired of doing it because then you have a big mess to put away).

  9. I love this paragraph:

    "When your home looks stale and boring, dusty and uninspiring, it is tempting to go shopping for some light entertainment and buy a rug, candle or doodad. Resist that temptation for when you get home again, your dusty and stale home will still be there and you will have added an extra piece of clutter."

    What great advice! It is so true. I haven't had the desire to replace anything that I have de-cluttered. The more room and space I create, the more serene I feel. Great to have you back, lady!! xxBliss

  10. Yay, you're back.

    What you call "pottering," I call "fiddlefarting." Whatever one calls it, it's a satisfying endeavor. In fact, I feel like doing a little fiddlefarting right this second!

  11. Dear Fiona,

    I have missed your blog updates very much. It was so nice to "see" you again.

    I could rearrange furniture for hours...Knick-nacks too. Your bedroom is divine.

  12. Great advice! Every once in a while I go stir-crazy and need to clean. The frequency has slowed with too much work to do plus the recent acquisition of a robot-cleaner for the floors (Roomba). I detest knick-knacks of any kind, but the boyfriend loves them (and putting things everywhere), so there's always cleaning to do. A couple months back we rearranged the sunroom, and it created so much more light inside the apartment! It seems we can never throw things away, but there are always improvements to be had!

  13. Welcome back, Fiona! You were greatly missed!

    I did a bit of pottering this weekend myself and know just what you mean. It is so refreshing to change things up a bit to keep life from becoming rote.

    Enjoy the remainder of the weekend!

  14. omg fiona you popped into my head during the middle of the night. i was wondering if you were enjoying your blog break. did you? i may take one myself.

    i love this and do it often. i'm not able to swap around furniture and pictures but i do move everything and wash, sweep and stir up the energy of the room. i don't think anyone but me can tell anything was done but i still do it all the time.

    welcome back lovely.


  15. Fiona,
    Hope you've had a lovely "vacances". We certainly have missed you!! Moving things around is definitely a good idea--one that I don't do often enough. Keeps things interesting. Thanks for the suggestion and welcome back.

  16. Yes, you're back!

    I agree with your cure for the home blahs: clean everything, rearrange, and relax to enjoy your clean home. I think the very act of caring for your possessions, like handwashing lingerie or polishing glass or silver, induces love all over again. Maybe that's why stylish women insist on taking care of their highly prized items themselves.

  17. Fiona.. my husband F said the same thing just yst! .. pack somethings away and then our place dosent get too cluttered looking! thanks for confirming this great idea.. now to DO IT!

  18. Fiona!! So true. Sometimes the way to keep a cleaner home is to have less things to clean. I gave away so many things before I moved that I have empty cupboards everywhere, and I LOVE IT!! It's easy to tidy up if someone's coming over and I have a place for everything.

    By the way, I've never heard the term potter, the way you've used it. We "putter about" here, so I'm guessing it's the same thing, only more pro-active.

  19. Bliss, you are one of my decluttering icons.

    Luxebytes, that is the best alternative name for pottering I have ever heard.

    Julia, if that was my bedroom I would be in heaven. It's just somewhere I like to stay every once in a while.

    AA, I did the same thing with our dining area, by moving things around there is a lot more light.

    Beth, thank you. Pottering does keep housework from becoming boring.

    Janet, I knew you would be one of us with such a lovely home. Moving and cleaning under big items of furniture definitely fits the bill. And I would recommend a blog holiday if you feel the need. Just put a note on the door and off you go.

    Charlene, merci.

    Rebekah, I love how you've said that and it's true. I truly appreciate everything I've got when I care for it.

    Cape Club, we don't have that many ornaments (what a terrible word) but even fewer surfaces, and rotating items really does help you enjoy them anew. Your husband is a wise man.

    Jessica, empty cupboards would be like a dream for me. I think pottering and puttering are interchangeable. Sometimes it's low-intensity and sometimes it high-.

  20. you are so right! I'm trying to use what I have and not keep buying more. I love the word "pottering" makes its meaning sound a little brighter and a little less like know? I just polished a little silver for a tea on Sunday...reading this post has inspired me to keep pottering.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...